BUFFALO, N.Y. ― The New York Republican Party goes to bat for the Democratic mayor of Buffalo, New York, as he fends off a progressive challenger.
Four-term Mayor Byron Brown, a centrist, misplaced the Democratic major in June to progressive group activist India Walton — who calls herself a democratic socialist — and is now mounting a write-in marketing campaign to defeat Walton within the basic election.
Without a partisan of their very own on the poll, high Republicans in Western New York have made no secret of their choice for the business-friendly Brown, with plenty of pro-GOP enterprise executives particularly chipping in to assist fund his write-in effort.
The Walton marketing campaign revealed at a press convention on Friday that Brown has official Republican Party assist as properly: The New York Republican State Committee is paying for mailers to Buffalonians that reward Brown and assault Walton.
A double-sided flyer despatched to voters that the Walton marketing campaign confirmed has a pro-Brown message on one facet, calling him the “proven, commonsense leader Buffalo needs.”
On the opposite facet of the flyer, the GOP supplies a side-by-side comparability of the 2 candidates and warns that Walton’s “radical agenda will destroy Buffalo.” Walton, the flyer claims, would “defund the police,” “protect violent criminals,” and usher in “economic disaster.”
At Friday’s press convention, through which Buffalo Common Councilman Rasheed Wyatt introduced his endorsement of Walton ― her first from a council member ― Walton mentioned that the mailer affirmed that she is the only option for the town’s Democratic majority.
“It just speaks to who is behind the Byron Brown campaign ― and it’s not the Democratic Party,” Walton mentioned.
A spokesperson for the Brown marketing campaign didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Buffalo Common Councilman Chris Scanlon, a reasonable Democrat supporting Brown, informed HuffPost on Thursday night time that there’s nothing improper with Republicans and independents getting behind Brown within the basic election.
“The mayor of the city of Buffalo is not the mayor of the Democrats of the city of Buffalo,” Scanlon mentioned. “He’s the mayor of the entire city of Buffalo.”
Referring to Brown’s conservative backers, he added, “I would assume they’re supporting him because of his 15-year track record of accomplishments that they want to continue.”
HuffPost additionally reached out to the New York Republican State Committee. The celebration physique didn’t instantly reply to a request for a proof about why it had determined to get entangled on behalf of a Democrat.
Reached by cellphone, Carl Paladino, a Buffalo actual property developer, conservative activist and former Republican candidate for New York governor, informed HuffPost that he had nothing to do with the state celebration’s determination.
He accredited of the mailer: “I’m awful happy that they” despatched it, he mentioned.
“Obviously the Huffington Post is a liberal progressive paper and you’re supporting that communist woman who’s as dumb as a fucking rock and she’s going nowhere,” he mentioned earlier than abruptly hanging up the cellphone.
The Republican mailer echoes deceptive or outright improper assaults that Brown has made in opposition to Walton.
Walton hopes to scale back the town’s police finances by $7.5 million, however has promised to discover the financial savings with out firing any officers. Brown and the GOP mailer each incorrectly declare that she would hearth 100 law enforcement officials. The New York Working Families Party has initiated a six-figure TV advert purchase to rebut Brown’s assault.
The mailer additionally reiterates Brown’s inaccurate declare that Walton would undertake a “lenient no-jail policy” for intercourse offenders. In actuality, Walton has mentioned she helps a “restorative justice” approach that provides victims of sexual violence the possibility of in search of interpersonal restitution and atonement from the perpetrators of the violence, however doesn’t preclude using incarceration.
Still, the concept Walton is even concerned with providing survivors of intercourse crimes the choice of pursuing “restorative justice” is sufficient to repel some Buffalonians. “As a parent, I can’t reconcile with that,” Scanlon mentioned.
Buffalo Common Councilman Wyatt, who endorsed Walton on Friday however is significantly much less left-wing than her, informed HuffPost that “lies” are accountable for fears about Walton’s law-enforcement agenda.
He believes that the town can obtain financial savings from the police division finances by decreasing using pointless additional time funds.
“I don’t believe in eliminating any police,” he mentioned. “She said that to me ― and I’m glad to hear it, because I don’t think any council member wants to reduce police.”
As the scope of Republican assist for Brown turns into clearer, Walton is racking up extra high-profile Democratic endorsements.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced that he was endorsing Walton. He referred to as her an “inspiring community leader, mother, nurse, and a lifelong Buffalonian with a clear progressive vision for her hometown.”
Schumer joins a comparatively modest roster of New York Democrats supporting Walton that features Wyatt, state Sen. Sean Ryan, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and state Assemblyman Jon Rivera, who was additionally at Friday’s press convention.
A lot of different distinguished New York Democrats, together with Gov. Kathy Hochul, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, have stayed impartial within the race.
Asked about Schumer’s backing on Friday, Walton mentioned, “That’s quite the endorsement!”
“I am very happy to have the support of the senator,” she mentioned, flanked by Rivera and Wyatt. “I hope that will, along with this endorsement from Councilman Wyatt and my Assembly member and our senator, Sean Ryan, be permission for folks who are on the fence to come on out and support me as the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo.”